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Two-year term triggers Honiara riot

By Evan Wasuka MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 29, 2010) - There's been a small outbreak of violence in the Solomon's islands capital, following the sentencing of the country's fisheries minister.

The Prime Minister, Danny Phillip has called for calm.

The outbreak of violence followed this morning's sentencing of former militant leader and the parliamentarian for North Malaita, Jimmy Lusibaea.

Fast response from the Solomon Islands Police Force prevented the disturbances from spreading.

A number of public vehicles were stoned and police were able to seal off Chinatown and block a group of young men from looting stores there.

The prime minister has urged the public to respect the court's decision.

"Just stay around your town peacefully, exercise your responsibility and all your neighbors too," he said.

A number of men have been taken into custody by police.

[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star reports a total of 37 people who were allegedly involved in yesterday’s incident in Honiara have been arrested. Most of the looters who were trying to instigate riots were between ages 12 and 18. Police told Solomon Star the instigators were not Lusibaea’s supporters but people who were taking advantage of the situation to cause trouble.]

Lusibaea has been jailed for two years and nine months for shooting a man in both knees and hitting a police officer with a pistol butt in September 2000 [during the ethnic tension].

Lusibaea's two year sentence means that he has lost his parliamentary seat for North Malaita.

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